Sheriff's office will still issue concealed carry permits despite new law

LANCASTER — The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office has granted about 30,000 concealed carry handgun permits since 2004. But the department could issue fewer permits after Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday signed a law that makes the permits optional.

"I'm sure it will have some effect," Sheriff Alex Lape said. "But at this point, we really don't know what that effect will be."

The new law takes effect in 90 days from the signing and also eliminates mandated firearms training to conceal carry. Additionally, drivers do not have to tell a police officer they have a weapon unless the officer asks. Currently, drivers must immediately inform the officer if they have a weapon with them.

Lape said his office will still issue concealed-carry permits for those who want them, though.

"Some people will want it just to go through the requisite training," he said. "And then other folks that have plans to travel will need to have the CCW permit for the reciprocity feature that is honored by the states that are in that reciprocity agreement."

The reciprocity agreement is one that some states honor an Ohio resident's right to carry concealed in their state. Not all states have a reciprocity agreement with Ohio, however. Therefore, Lape said gun owners should check with the states they are traveling through to see if they do. He said such gun owners will probably determine how many permit applications his office gets.

MORE: Sheriff's office sees an increase in concealed carry permits the last couple years

While the new law will no longer require gun training, Lape said there is some merit to still receiving training.

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"Whether you're going through the CCW permit process or you're planning on carrying a weapon, there's a degree of responsibility," Lape said. "It's a huge responsibility that somebody would be taking on to exercise that right under the new law. It would be in their best interest to get some familiarity."

He said for a lot of people, the new law is a move in the right direction in their viewpoint.

"It's like anything new," Lape said. "When CCW was new there was a period of time for everybody to get acclimated to the change. So I'm sure we'll go through the same type of process with this as well."


Twitter: @JeffDBarron

This article originally appeared on Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: Sheriff's office to still give concealed carry permits despite new law